Are they really dumb, or just playing “dumb” to get more information?
“I’m not sure if this would fall under a ‘dangerous reporter’ or ‘dangerous tactics’ headline, but I’ve witnessed the “playing dumb” reporter on many occasions. I’m told there are several reasons why a reporter would use this routine but I’m wondering what your take is on it?”
There are three primary reasons a reporter might come across as dumb.
1. They’re trying to get you to say more.
A reporter might say, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand,” as a device to keep you talking. As we tell our trainees, the more you say, the more you stray. If a reporter can keep you talking, he or she can increase the chances that you’re going to say something you’ll regret.